The superintendent of the Newark Public Schools system announced that the
city state will close down seven schools; the fate of the students and staff has not yet been publicly announced. Ms. Anderson's attempt to go into specifics ended with her walking off the stage.
I've spent some time in one of the schools--Dayton Street. I was involved with "The Rainbow Room," a school-based health clinic named by the students.
Many of the kids come from a local housing project, where I once made house calls. It's a gritty neighborhood in a tough town adjacent to a beautiful park, and (shhhh...it's a secret) many people are poor enough to be more concerned with shelter and food than, say, solving a quadratic equation.
Most of the staff busted their asses, and many of the kids did, too. That's true in Newark, that's true in Princeton, that's true pretty much everywhere you got adults who care about kids working with them day in and day out.
I don't know enough about the specifics today to comment cogently, so I won't. We'd all be better off if others would abide the same advice.
I do know enough that some jackass is going to say I'm defending the status quo.Then I will be told that zip code is not destiny by some pale person who has never thought twice about the cost of a cup of coffee.
I don't defend the staus quo--that's why I made housecalls in the projects. That's why I've managed to annoy both my union president and Mr. Cerf, our state education commish, within the same month.
The status quo I won't defend is institutionalized poverty.
If a car won't start because it's missing the engine, you're wasting your time cussing at the key.
And yes, one of the schools is Martin Luther King Junior Elementary School--who says irony is dead?